There will be two Canadians for the third year in a row participating in the Nike Hoops Summit. That is an incredible thing for our Canadian basketball community to have but there are greater things in the works. Can Ball Ray takes a look at what the significance of these two players in this event ...
If you're not aware, and you should be already, Canadian ballers Anthony Bennett and Andrew Wiggins are playing in today's Nike Hoops Summit in Portland. This is a pretty impressive feat for both players since the World Team that they were selected to encompasses players from around the globe as its selection pool.
Now the significance isn't in that these two particular players were chosen but that both players are good enough to be selected amongst the many players on this planet. I'm sure that there are players just as talented as both Bennett and Wiggins and could have been easily been put in their place. Being that we are North American we can be prone to seeing the world with blinders on and our media outlets help that. But these two players are special. We've known it and now the rest of the world outside our continent will know it too.
Bennett is among the top of his senior class this season and is still weighing out school options that include Kentucky and UNLV. Wiggins is the top player in this sophomore class according to many of the leading scouting services and is only getting better. They are both following in the footsteps of other great young Canucks like Kevin Pangos, Kyle WIltjer as well as current NBA players Tristan Thompson and Cory Joseph. We don't need to look very far to project what the immediate future for the aforementioned two and placing Bennett and Wiggins in this class of our latest crop of ballers does nothing but project success.
So what does this mean to us Canadian basketball fans? A whole lot actually.
Now will this selection to this prestigious event mean that their success is assured or expected to be immediate, of course not. That would be ideal but it may not necessarily be the case. What it does is put a them in a position to expect a successful path to becoming among the elite that this country has produced on the hardwood. And unless you've been not playing or following the game over the last five years, that is a pretty lofty precedent already.
In the bigger picture, we can take satisfaction that as basketball fans who are waiting for the time when our overall basketball prestige will be as impressive as our individual basketball parts, this means that we have a great deal to look forward to. These can be two future parts to the building of not only the profile of our players in Canada but most importantly the profile of our players and game to the world. We have been having our Canadian players being selected to the assorted All American high school games in the US since the 80s and even though that is a great thing, it's still a North American thing. The globe may or may not care about these events overall but it helps to build a profile for us in Canada.
This Nike Hoops Summit is about the next best thing outside the World Championships and Olympics in my opinion to a world wide attention grabbing hoops event. The event, in a way, forces the wider basketball world to watch their young ballers and ours in the process. This event helps to show that we are able to now develop young ballers that can compete among the best on the planet and handle their own, if not impress outright. And along the way, if the powers that be in our country throw their support behind it, all the better.
Here's to the game we love getting the same attention and support as hockey in the frozen north.
You can check out the latest news and the rest of the rosters right here at the Nike Hoops Summit site. Check out the game later tonight at 7pm PST either on your super permium sports package or online at your favorite links site.